Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Hopeful Chase Trading Post is Open For Business!

So, recently I took a little trip down to Florida. While it was nice to leave the cold, gray Chicago behind for a few days the trip wasn’t solely to soak up some sunshine. After roughly seven years, it was time to take my collection out of my in-laws (saints) closet and bring it up to the Windy City.

The Duchess (also a saint) agreed to fly down with me and help drive 100,000 pieces of cardboard back to our cramped apartment.  I did kind of bribe her with the promise of stopping in Nashville for a couple of days.  Believe it or not, after 13 years together this would be our first roadtrip over 6 hours together.  That might be one of the reasons we’re still together.

On a Friday morning we left cold, slushy Chicago behind and hopped a flight to Tampa.  Once there we picked up our sweet ride for the trip.

When you’re moving a couple hundred pounds of hockey cards, baseball cards and random stuff (a trash can!  a toolbox!) almost 1,200 miles you don’t get a convertible no matter how nice the weather might be.  

After a quick lunch by the water, one of the things I miss most from the Tampa Bay Area, we were off to the in-laws.  It didn’t take long to load it up the next day.  When there are four people and no stairs involved things move pretty quickly. With the van loaded, it would proceed to sit in the driveway for the next day or so.  I borrowed the in-laws car to go to the Lightning game with a friend (something else that I miss mightily) and then, the next day, we were off at the literal crack of dawn.

I won’t bore you with the details of the road trip with this post, suffice it to say, it’s a long way from Tampa to Nashville and there isn’t much to look at.  Despite my mother-in-law’s concern, no one broke into the van while it sat in a public garage for two days. Or if they did, they realized stealing 40 boxes of baseball cards would be the dumbest crime in the history of petty theft.

The drive from Nashville to Chicago wasn’t much more exciting, although the windmill farms in Indiana are impressive.  We survived the trip (podcasts are a wonderful thing) and managed to get the cards up to the third floor without getting a parking ticket.

The point of this post is to let you collectors know that I have my collection back.  That means I am ready to deal.  That’s right it’s trading time, bitches!  At some point we’re going to move again and it would be cruel to make the movers carry all of these cards down three flights of stairs.  I figure I can cut the collection in half just by dealing my baseball duplicates and cutting my hockey collection down to what it was originally intended to be - Lightning only.

So this is your chance to fill some gaps in your collection.  If you have baseball needs from the mid-80s to 2010 or hockey needs from the junk era (PRO SET, PRO SET PRO SET) shoot me a line.  I’ll check your want lists out and we can work something out.  I’m not looking for a lot in return.  After all the purpose is to reduce the collection not just swap cards in and out.

I already have one deal in the mail and a couple of feelers out.  I will do my best to keep a running track of the number of cards that are shipped out.  I don’t think I’ll load anything new on Zistle, the rumors of its demise are swirling once again, and I don’t feel like loading that many cards into a new site one by one.

So, it’s time to go old school. Hunting through want lists and and sending out emails. It’s the way I traded when I first started blogging. Look for more card related posts here as well.  If I stumble across some card I haven’t seen in a decade I might post about it. For instance, I forgot how nice some of the cards in the 2008 Upper Deck set looked. Trades I’ll definitely post about.

The 91 Days of Stamkos project over at Raw Charge is winding to an end, and I’ll need to something to write about on a daily basis.  I think The Duchess enjoys the fact that I’m sitting at a desk doing something productive as opposed to binge watching Bones during the day. And I KNOW that she likes seeing cards go out the door as opposed to coming in.

I’m not setting any specific goals for trades, just want to reduce and make people happy.  I’ll be listing a few cards on eBay, but really there really aren’t many big ticket cards sitting in the boxes in our living room.

If you’re interested in trading, leave a comment, email me (yerf@hotmail.com) or hit me up on Twitter.  Thanks for your help!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Time for another Big Drama Show. Gennedy Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs

Photo by Ed Mulholland/K2

At a certain point in the fight, Gennady Golovkin’s opponents have to make a choice.  It’s not whether to attack or defend, to crowd him or to keep your distance.  Should I attack with a jab or try and counter with a straight right?  The choice is much simpler, which punch do I want to hit me?  It’s a question that really doesn’t have an answer.

A left hook from the Kazakhstan-fighter doesn’t just slow a boxer down or look nice on TV.  It ends fights. The first time it hits you, it takes your breath away and you know if he lands it again you’re in trouble. So you drop your right hand a little and turn away from that killer left hand.  It doesn’t matter, the next thing you don’t see is a right hand crashing against your temple and suddenly you’re on the canvas with an old man covered in your blood counting to ten.  

Is Golovkin a perfect fighter?  No.  He has his flaws.  His defense, either by style or choice leaves a lot to be desired.  There seems to be a point in each fight, usually in the first couple of rounds, where his opponent lands a clean shot.  If Golovkin decides it won’t hurt him, he won’t bother blocking future punches.  Instead he bets that he can dish out harder than the other guy in the exchanges.

If the punch does register on his warning scale, he’ll proceed with a bit more caution.  Not much,but a subtle head movement or a quick shuffle of the feet to avoid the punch and then he counters. He could be a better defensive boxer, but where is the fun, where is the entertainment in that? American boxing fans want to see action, so Golovkin allows a few punches to sneak through before dishing out his own punishment.

It’s a good strategy to employ until you run into a boxer with one-punch power.  In his 36 fights, he’s yet to find that opponent.  Could Jacobs be the one?  

Jacobs will be interesting opponent for Gennady Golovkin.  The New York native has power, it’s been 15 straight fights since a judge’s scorecard came into play for him. His pummeling of Peter Quillin in 2015 was one of the worst first round beatings dished out that didn’t end with someone on their back (the ref stopped the fight after a savage Jacobs’ right-hand left “Kid Chocolate” stumbling around the ring”).

If the victory over Quillin showed what he can do when he’s unleashing a whirlwind of punches, his second victory over Sergio Mora showed Jacobs as the relentless terrorizer, almost a carbon copy of Golovkin.  He stalked his prey, pointedly dishing out power punch after power punch, knocking Mora down time after time until the corner had seen enough.

Besides, after beating bone cancer and being told that he should never box again, what’s the big deal about an unassuming 165 lb. boxer? The affable Brooklyn-born boxer says he doesn’t fear Golovkin. After all, if Kell Brock can land combinations on GGG, why can’t Jacobs.  Unlike Brock, Jacobs has power behind those punches.  Possibly even enough force to stop the seemingly unstoppable middleweight terror.

The problem, and the reason he’s an 8-1 underdog, is even in his victories he’s shown a tendency to get hit.  After knocking Mora down in their first fight, Jacobs eagerly walked into a stiff right that sent him to the canvas. Part of Golovkin’s plan is to give an opponent enough hope to make a mistake.  Let him land a couple of punches, show him an opening and then counter viciously.    

His knockout of Daniel Geale is a perfect example.

Geale was scoring with some punches throughout the round.  Right before the highlight started he clipped Golovkin with an uppercut.  Then Geale throws a right-hand that lands flush on Golovkin’s jaw.  The Kazakh absorbs it and drops his opponent with a short right of his own.  

Fighters don’t shrug off Golovkin punches.  They can spend all three months prior to the fight talking about how they’re not scared of him, or that there is no fear in their heart, but until they stand in that ring and take a punch they have no idea what they’re getting into.  None of his opponents have ever claimed that Golovkin beat them with a “lucky” punch

Whatever happens tonight it is unlikely that the fight is going the distance.  The question for Jacobs is, can he absorb enough punishment to do damage to Golovkin. If he can walk through some of the thundering left hooks, he has a puncher’s chance of winning.  Unfortunately, that is a mighty big if.